Is Muhammad a Prophet? A critical examination
Muhammad’s Love of Women
According to some of Islam’s commentators the following verse:
Or do they envy men (Muhammad and his followers) for what Allah has given them of His Bounty? Then We had already given the family of Ibrahim (Abraham) the Book and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah - Divine Inspiration to those Prophets not written in the form of a book), and conferred upon them a great kingdom. Q. 4:54 Hilali-Khan
Was " revealed" to silence Muhammad’s critics who were complaining of all the wives he was taking:
(Or are they jealous) nay, they are jealous (of mankind) of Muhammad and his Companions (because of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them?) the Scripture, prophethood and marrying many wives. (For We bestowed upon the house of Abraham) David and Solomon ((of old) the Scripture and Wisdom) knowledge, understanding and prophethood, (and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom) We honoured them with prophethood and Islam and bestowed upon them sovereignty over the Children of
Or, nay, are they jealous of people, namely, of the Prophet (s), for the bounty that God has bestowed upon them, in the way of prophethood and abundance of women? In other words, they wish that he be deprived of such things, saying, 'If he were truly a prophet, he would not be concerned with women'. For We gave the House of Abraham, his forefather, the likes of Moses, David and Solomon, the Book and wisdom, and prophethood, and We gave them a mighty kingdom: David had ninety nine women, and Solomon had a thousand, free women and slavegirls. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn: Link)
The reason why Muhammad had more wives than his own followers were allowed to have is because he loved women too much and couldn’t control himself:
There is an authentic ‘Hadith collected from Anas ibn Malik, who said that the Messenger of Allah said…
"From your (this) life, I was made to like women (in marriage) and Teeb (perfume); the comfort of my eye was made in Prayer." Those who narrated the ‘Hadith to mean, "I was made to like three things from this life", made a mistake, because the Prophet did not say, ‘three’. Certainly, Prayer is not among the matters of life.
Women [in marriage] and Teeb were among the dearest things to the Prophet. He used to sleep with his wives, all in one night. He was endowed with the strength of thirty men with regards to sexual ability and otherwise. Allah allowed him more than He allowed anyone from among his Ummah (Muslim Nation).
The Prophet used to treat his wives fairly regarding spending the night at each one’s house, maintenance and accommodation. As for love felt in the heart, he used to say…
"O, Allah! This is my division in what I have control of, so do not blame me for what [You control and] I do not control." This ‘Hadith was said to pertain to love and sexual intimacy, fairness regarding what is not obligatory, because one has no control over such matters. (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, Zad-ul Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l 'Ibad [Provisions for the Hereafter Taken From the Guidance of Allah's Best Worshipper], translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando Florida; First Edition, December 2000], Volume 1, pp. 236-236)
Muhammad’s lust for women was such that he would often choose the most beautiful captives, and would also force his followers to hand over their beautiful booty to him:
… We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah's Apostle! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’" Anas added: "The Prophet then manumitted her and married her." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367: Link)
And: Narrated Anas bin Malik: We arrived at Khaibar, and when Allah helped His Apostle to open the fort, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtaq whose husband had been killed while she was a bride, was mentioned to Allah's Apostle. The Prophet selected her for himself… (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 522: Link)
Nor was Safiyya an isolated case:
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Juwayriyyah, daughter of al-Harith ibn al-Mustaliq, fell to the lot of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, or to her cousin. She entered into an agreement to purchase her freedom. She was a very beautiful woman, most attractive to the eye.
Aisha said: She then came to the Apostle of Allah asking him for the purchase of her freedom. When she was standing at the door, I looked at her with disapproval. I realised that the Apostle of Allah would look at her in the same way that I had looked.
She said: Apostle of Allah, I am Juwayriyyah, daughter of al-Harith, and something has happened to me, which is not hidden from you. I have fallen to the lot of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, and I have entered into an agreement to purchase of my freedom. I have come to you to seek assistance for the purchase of my freedom.
The Apostle of Allah said: Are you inclined to that which is better? She asked: What is that, Apostle of Allah? He replied: I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf, and I shall marry you.
She said: I shall do this. She (Aisha) said: The people then heard that the Apostle of Allah had married Juwayriyyah. They released the captives in their possession and set them free, and said: They are the relatives of the Apostle of Allah by marriage. We did not see any woman greater than Juwayriyyah who brought blessings to her people. One hundred families of Banu al-Mustaliq were set free on account of her. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 29, Number 3920: Link)
And: According to Ibn Humayd–Salamah–Muhammad b. Ishaq– Muhammad b. Ja‘far b. al-Zubayr–the Prophet’s wife ‘A’ishah, who said: When the Messenger of God divided the captives of the Banu al-Mustaliq, Juwayriyah bt. Al-Harith fell to the share of Thabit b. Qays b. al-Shammas (or to a cousin of his), and she contracted with him for her freedom. She was a sweet, beautiful woman who captivated anyone who looked at her. She came to the Messenger of God seeking his help in the matter of her contract. By God, as soon as I saw her at the door of my chamber, I took a dislike to her, and I knew that he would see in her what I saw… (The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1997], Volume VIII, pp. 56-57)
Aisha’s statement leaves absolutely no doubt that Muhammad chose Juwayriyah solely for her outstanding beauty. As the translator of the History of al-Tabari noted:
… Similar frankness appears in the account in A.H. 6 of Muhammad’s marriage to Juwayriyah, "a sweet, beautiful woman, who captivated anyone who looked at her" (the words of ‘A’isha’s). She had been captured during the raid on the Banu al-Mustaliq and, in accordance with custom, became the slave of one of her captors. The latter agreed to free her in exchange for a sum of money. Juwariyah approached Muhammad for help, and the latter, CAPTIVATED BY HER BEAUTY, offered her "something better" then payment of the price of her freedom – namely, marriage with himself… (Ibid., p. xiii)
No wonder that Muhammad’s contemporaries accused him of being a womanizer!
… Layla bt. al-Khatim b. ‘Adi b. ‘Amr b. Sawad b. Zafar b. al-Harith b. al-Khazraj approached the Prophet while his back was to the sun, and clapped him on his shoulder. He asked who it was, and she replied, "I am the daughter of one who competes with the wind. I am Layla bt. al-Khatim. I have come to offer myself [in marriage] to you, so marry me." He replied, "I accept." She went back to her people and said that the Messenger of God had married her. They said, "What a bad thing you have done! You are a self-respecting woman, but the Prophet is a womanizer. Seek an annulment from him." She went back to the Prophet and asked him to revoke the marriage and he complied with [her request]… (The History of Al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, translated and annotated by Ismail K. Poonawala [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, 1990], Volume IX, p. 139)
It is rather interesting that some Muslim claim that Muhammad treated his wives fairly by spending equal time with them when elsewhere he candidly admitted that his prophet preferred Aisha to the rest of his spouses. This led to discord and constant complaining from the wives:
Next, the Prophet married Umm Abdullah, Aishah, as-Siddiqah (the truthful one), daughter of as-Siddiq (the truthful one) Abu Bakr ibn Abi Qu’hafah, whom Allah has exonerated from the above seven heavens. ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr was the beloved wife of the Prophet. The angel showed Aishah to the Prophet while she was wrapped in a piece of silk cloth, before he married her, and said to him, "This is your wife." The Prophet married Aishah during the lunar month of Shawwal, when she was six, and consummated the marriage in the first year after the Hijrah, in the month of Shawwal, when she was nine. The Prophet did not marry any virgin, except Aishah, and the revelation never came to him while he was under the blanket with any of his wives, except Aishah…
 [Al-Bukhari (4738) and Muslim (2548) narrated that ‘Aishah said, "Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old."]
 [Al-Bukhari (3491) narrated that Allah’s Apostle said…
"O, Umm Salamah! Don’t trouble me by harming ‘Aishah, for by Allah, the Divine Inspiration never came to me while I was under the blanket of any woman amongst you except her."] (Ibn al-Qayyim, pp. 157-158; see also p. 242)
And: Narrated 'Urwa from 'Aisha:The wives of Allah's Apostle were in two groups. One group consisted of 'Aisha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Um Salama and the other wives of Allah's Apostle. The Muslims knew that Allah's Apostle loved 'Aisha, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah's Apostle, he would delay it, till Allah's Apostle had come to 'Aisha's home and then he would send his gift to Allah's Apostle in her home. The group of Um Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Um Salama should request Allah's Apostle to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife's house he was. Um Salama told Allah's Apostle of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Um Salama about it. She said, "He did not say anything to me." They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, "Talk to him till he gives you a reply." When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, "Do not hurt me regarding Aisha, AS THE DIVINE INSPIRATIONS DO NOT COME TO ME ON ANY OF THE BEDS EXCEPT THAT OF AISHA." On that Um Salama said, "I repent to Allah for hurting you." Then the group of Um Salama called Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Apostle and sent her to Allah's Apostle to say to him, "Your wives request to treat them and the daughter of Abu Bakr on equal terms." Then Fatima conveyed the message to him. The Prophet said, "O my daughter! Don't you love whom I love?" She replied in the affirmative and returned and told them of the situation. They requested her to go to him again but she refused. They then sent Zainab bint Jahsh who went to him and used harsh words saying, "Your wives request you to treat them and the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa on equal terms." On that she raised her voice and abused 'Aisha to her face so much so that Allah's Apostle looked at 'Aisha to see whether she would retort. 'Aisha started replying to Zainab till she silenced her. The Prophet then looked at 'Aisha and said, "She is really the daughter of Abu Bakr." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 755: Link)
What audacity! Muhammad justifies his neglect of certain wives and preferential treatment of Aisha on the grounds that Allah would send down revelations only when he was in the sheets of his child bride!
Friday, 17 April 2009
How Muhammad became an idol, Part III
Is Muhammad a Prophet? A critical examination